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Family of schoolgirl knifed to death in the 1960s wins battle for new inquest

High Court judges gave the go-ahead for the inquest into the death of Elsie Frost – just over a year after her suspected killer died.

Elsie Frost (West Yorkshire Police/PA)
Elsie Frost (West Yorkshire Police/PA)

The family of a 14-year-old girl who was knifed to death in the 1960s has won a High Court bid to have a fresh inquest into her death.

Senior judges ruled in London on Tuesday that there should be a new inquest into the death of Elsie Frost – just over a year after her suspected killer died before he could be charged.

Lord Justice Irwin, sitting with Mr Justice Jay, declared: “There will be a new inquest.”

The judge added that the court’s reasons for its decision will be given at a later date.

No one was ever successfully prosecuted for the murder of Elsie, who was killed on the way home from her sister’s house in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in October 1965.

An inquest held in 1966 implicated local man Ian Bernard Spencer but his criminal trial was thrown out of court due to lack of evidence.

New evidence uncovered after Elsie’s brother Colin Frost and sister Anne Cleave persuaded West Yorkshire Police to reopen the files pointed to Beast of Wombwell killer Peter Pickering.

Following his death in 2018, the force confirmed Pickering was expected to be charged with Elsie’s murder.

The 80-year-old was locked up for more than 45 years after killing 14-year-old Shirley Boldy in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, in 1972.

PA

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